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| Mike Ricks Named Women’s Basketball Coach |
The University of St. Thomas has appointed Mike Ricks as the coach of the women’s basketball team, set to take the court for the first time in the 2011-2012 season. Ricks will recruit and coach the inaugural intercollegiate women’s basketball team at UST. UST competes in the Association of Independent Institutions conference in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Ricks joins the full-time coaching staff at UST after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the UST men’s basketball team. He is no stranger to success in coaching after leading Kingwood’s Northeast Christian Academy to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) State Basketball Tournament four times. He was also part of three state championship teams as a high school coach.
“Mike’s energy, enthusiasm and passion for the University of St. Thomas and women’s basketball are obvious when you meet him,” said UST Athletic Director Todd Smith. “When we began our search for our first women’s basketball coach we wanted someone who would build a lasting foundation for the program while recruiting and developing outstanding student-athletes; Coach Ricks is that person. He has won state championships at the high school level and will now bring his coaching and mentorship to UST.”
Most recently, Ricks served as the Northeast Christian’s athletic director and head boys’ basketball coach. He also coached the varsity girls’ basketball team. In 2010, he led the NCA Warriors to a 30-10 record and a TAPPS AA State Championship. Ricks also reached the 100-win milestone as a high school varsity coach. Under Ricks’ three-year leadership, the varsity girls’ record was 81-34.
“I’m looking forward to becoming a part of such a great university, and I can’t wait to get started,” Ricks said. “Developing a women’s basketball program that builds pride and school spirit takes more than just winning basketball games. We want to be active on campus and in the community. Most importantly, we want our players to be successful academically as we help them to prepare to be successful in life.”
Ricks brings Amature Athletic Union (AAU) coaching experience to UST, having coached with the Project Hoops and Northeast Flight organizations. He has been recognized by numerous organizations for his accomplishments at Northeast Christian. Following the 2008-2009 season, Ricks was named as the TAPPS 10-AA Coach of the Year. In May 2009, Ricks was honored by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches as a state champion coach. He was also selected to coach the TAPPS Blue South All-Star Team in June of 2009. In 2007, he was named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.
Off the court, Ricks has published an article in Winning Hoops magazine and authored a DVD with Championship Productions titled “The Complete 4-1 Zone Defense.” In July of 2009, Ricks was a featured speaker at the 2nd Annual Texas Private School Coaches Association Convention in Austin. Most recently, Ricks signed a contract with Coaches Choice to write a book, Coaching the 4-1 Zone Defense.
Ricks received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from the University of Houston in 2004. He is currently working on his Master of Education in educational leadership through LeTourneau University. Ricks is also a certified personal trainer holding certifications with both ACE and IFPA.
He lives in Kingwood with his wife, Dana and her children, Matt and Claire.